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Peyton Manning defines Elway’s second act with the Broncos

Peyton Manning chose John and Elway delivered a Super Bowl for the Denver Broncos.

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Peyton Manning didn’t need the Broncos to secure his bust in Canton. Thirteen years with the Indianapolis Colts throwing for 54,828 passing yards to go with 399 touchdowns was enough. The 35-year-old quarterback couldn’t feel his fingertips for years prior to the anterior cervical discectomy and fusion that forced him out of the 2011 season. Few would have blamed him for walking away with what remained of his body intact.

Instead, the Sheriff signed with the Denver Broncos.

It was a roster rife with as many question marks as promises. John Elway’s first season in the front office was considered a smashing success thanks to the miraculous play of Tim Tebow, a quarterback who knocked the 12-4 Steelers out of the playoffs on perhaps the most overrated throw in NFL history.

To his credit, the Broncos’ general manager saw an 8-8 team with a fullback under center and sold to Manning how good it could be with an All-Time great. That one move should have been enough for him to win Executive of the Year. Instead it went to Ryan Grigson because Andrew Luck saved the house that Peyton built from irrelevance after his absence led to the worst record in football. Manning’s replacement was good enough to steer the Colts to three straight 11-5 seasons to start his career before Grigson’s mistakes crashed down on him. In the end, Luck was not enough to replace the man who defines Indianapolis in modern NFL history.

Until the end, Peyton Manning was the tide that lifted all boats. His decision to join the Broncos turned a fringe playoff contender into a Super Bowl favorite. It took two stints in the AFC East before the world caught on to how little Adam Gase mattered to the Manning offense. Between the lines was Peyton’s place, and he owned every part of it like no one ever will again.

It’s fitting that a man defined by his mental processing will owe so much of his legacy to the choice he made. We know about Arizona, San Francisco, and Tennessee, yet in the end it didn’t matter. Peyton Manning wanted to wear the orange and blue. What’s equally fitting is how a man who defines the Denver Broncos showed no hesitation to seek out and employ who is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. John Elway’s legacy as a general manager is defined by the Manning era. Four magical years that will outlive any one of us.

The Duke’s own struggles to replicate even a shadow of that success since only exacerbates what should be obvious: the pair were a match made in football heaven. Elway found a way to build the perfect Manning offense and Peyton broke records with it.

When it became clear the defensive side of the ball would need more juice to win the Super Bowl, Elway leveraged the draw of a G.O.A.T to build one of the best defenses in NFL history and brought in the perfect coach for one last ride. As Manning’s body failed him, the No Fly Zone carried him to the promised land.

Peyton Manning did all he could to lift the Denver Broncos and in return John Elway did everything he could to send him off with a Lombardi.

Both succeeded.

Your Broncos’ News

No Fly Zone. Best secondary in NFL history - Mile High Report


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